Crail Collegiate Church.

The picturesque old seaport of Crail lies near the eastern point of the north side of the Firth of Forth. It is one of the earliest places in Scotland which are known to have carried on commerce with the Continent, particularly with the Netherlands.

In ancient times there was a royal castle at Crail, in which David I. resided. It is believed that at one time Crail was the site of a priory dedicated, some say to St. Rufus, others St Maelrubha.

Crail from the north-west.   Crail Church from the south.
View from the north-west.   View from the south.

Certainly dedicated to "St Macrubha" {St Maelrubha}, the parish Church of Crail belonged from an early date to the Cistercian Nuns of Haddington. In 1177 the stipend is mentioned. This church was made collegiate and well endowed by Sir William Myreton, vicar of Lathrick in 1509. William had been a chaplain of the church of Crail in 1500. He also established the altar of St Michael the Archangel in 1512, and in 1514 he founded an altar to the praise and honour of God, the Virgin Mary, and all saints, which he placed in the presentation and donation of the bailies and community. William also showed himself a generous benefactor of the town by founding schools there in 1525, one being for the teaching of grammar and the other of music. In 1515, besides the above chaplainries, there existed in the church chaplainries of St James the Apostle, St Bartholemew, and St Nicholas.

Plan of the church. Plan of the College of Crail.

The collegiate foundation at Crail was for a provost and ten prebendaries to which, in 1520, was added an eleventh, viz. that of St John the Baptist. The music school which William Myreton founded would suggest that a number of singing boys would havebeen available for services in the church.


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